If you’re wanting to adopt a dog, the Cobb County Animal Services has plenty to choose from. However, if you’re looking for a cat, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Seanna Abbott, the field operations manager, said the last few cats were rescued on Thursday by Good Mews, a local animal foundation that’s served the area for more than 30 years.
“We are metro Atlanta's first and original cage-free, no-kill cat shelter, dedicated strictly to felines,” Elizabeth Finch, Good Mews VP board of directors, said. “In conjunction with the promotion that Hook Line & Schooner has been running, we have pulled about 14 or 15 [cats] so far this year.”
Hook Line & Schooner is a family-owned seafood restaurant in Smyrna. The owners, Ted and Rosey Varno, said they have always loved animals.
“When we retired, we went ahead and volunteered at the local shelter,” Ted said. “We worked with the animals on trying to get them adopted. They bring a lot of love into people's lives.”
In fact, the Varno’s love animals so much, they encourage customers to round up their bill to the nearest dollar. The extra money goes into a fund which is used to save animals from the shelter. It’s called the Round-Up program, and each table in the restaurant has an information sheet.
“We have a high participation rate,” Ted said. “I have not had one person say no. We've saved probably over 100 animals total. I feel excellent about it, because they're in there by no fault of their own.”
“We started working on this in 2011 with the shelter, Cobb County Animal Services,” Rosey said. “We saw that they had a major need. It's bigger than we thought it would be. People love helping.”
The Varno's hosted a fundraiser last month that raised $7,000, allowing them to save 70 animals. Since then, the Round-Up program has allowed nearly 30 more animals to be saved, Rosey said. It costs roughly $100 to save one animal. In this case, the money is used for medical care and any fees associated with transferring the dog or cat to a no-kill shelter like Good Mews.
“This is kind of new. I wish it happened more often,” Abbott said. “We want as few animals here as possible. We would love to empty out many more of our dog cages, and we would love to keep our cat cages empty.”
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